On This Date in Legal History

Eugene Debs gave a speech intending to encourage others not to join the military. He was indicted and convicted by a jury for violating the Espionage Act. The Act made it a crime to obstruct military recruitment during World War 1. Debs appealed his conviction arguing that he was exercising his right to free speech under the First Amendment, and the Espionage Act was unconstitutional. On January 28, 1919, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Debs v. United States. On March 10, 1919, the Supreme affirmed Debs’ conviction.


Eugene V. Debs

Clarence Darrow labored to obtain a pardon for Debs, or have his sentence commuted. President Wilson refused, but President Harding agreed to commute his sentence to time served. He was released from prison on Christmas Day in 1921. Find out more at http://debsfoundation.org.

About Tina Nelson
Tina Nelson

Tina Nelson is an attorney and mom. She created the LAWSUIT™ board game to teach her three children about the law. The game was an instant success. Copyrights and a patent were obtained, and Professional Games, Inc. was born. Professional Games, Inc. created this blog to educate and keep its friends and customers regularly updated about our American legal system.
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